This semester I'm taking a class titled Musical Theatre Repertoire where each week we are assigned different shows that we have to do mock auditions for. Monday our show is Carousel. I've had this movie in a Rogers and Hammerstein 6-pack collection for a while but haven't watched it. I viewed it this morning in prep for class and had to review it for you as it quickly became a new favorite of mine..
Our story begins in the heavens with the dapper Billy Bigelow shining stars. This is portrayed as his resting place. Someone in charge there tells him that there is trouble with his family on Earth. His life story unfolds as he explains what happened when he lived. Billy was the barker, as he calls it, of the carousel. I would refer to it as eye candy who summons midway patrons to ride the carousel with his good looks and charm. Think "step right up and have a shot" as is commonly yelled at carnivals but Billy does is in a suave way. He meets the darling of a blonde who becomes his wife. He tells more of his life story, including how he died, and is permitted by the guy in charge to visit earth in hopes to help his family. This is a somber story but really captured my heart. The main theme song of this show is ever so catchy and is still circling my brain like a unicorn on a carousel. The most intriguing element of this movie is the dancing. The strong balletic numbers danced on sets and props are very clever and visually appealing. One cake taker is the song about June, where men jump off of a roof, somersault, and then jump onto a waist high handrail and balance with one leg extended. Amaaazing. The number where Billy's daughter envisions her father working on the carousel is fantastic. Couples circle around with the ballerinas holding double attitudes on the hip of the male dancer that is holding them. This brilliant staging gives the illusion that the girls are horses on a--you guessed it carousel. If you enjoy old musical movies, dancing or love stories then this movie is for you!
For my audition I plan to sing the "loving that man of mine" song from South Pacific or something from State Fair if I can find it. Both of these musicals are by Rogers and Hammerstein also and have similar sounds and roles. I'm looking forward to the dance portion of this audition very much as it is all BALLET (yay!) and we're having a surprise guest come teach it..